Sydneysiders who recently visited the Haymarket area are being urged to look out for symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease, after Legionella bacteria was identified in a local cooling tower.
The tower, which is no longer operating, was found to be contaminated during an investigation into two Legionnaires’ cases earlier this year, according to the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.
The SESLHD says the two affected people – a man in his 40s and another in his 70s – have since recovered, and there is no ongoing risk to the Haymarket area.
They’re asking people who may have been in the area in the past two weeks to watch for symptoms.
The district’s deputy public health director Vicky Sheppeard said symptoms could develop up to 10 days after exposure and included fever, chills, a cough and shortness of breath.
They could lead to severe chest infections such as pneumonia, she said.
“People who develop this disease are diagnosed by chest x-ray and a urine test and usually require antibiotic treatment in hospital,” Dr Sheppeard said in a statement on Saturday.
Legionnaires’ cannot be spread from person to person, with outbreaks often linked to contaminated water cooling systems of air-conditioning plants in large buildings.